Invest in African Energy (IAE) 2024 Kicks Off in Paris, African Producers Move Toward Just Energy Transition


PARIS, France, May 14, 2024 -- The second annual Invest in African Energy (IAE) forum opened in Paris on Tuesday, with OPEC and petroleum ministers from the Republic of Congo and Gabon adopting a unified stance on a just energy transition.

Africa is at a critical nexus in its energy development, as the continent seeks to scale up its energy supplies to meet electrification and industrialization goals, while also balancing climate concerns. As a result, African oil and gas markets are pursuing increased collaboration with international partners, along with an influx of foreign investment and technology to achieve a balanced energy mix.

Congolese Minister of Hydrocarbons Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua highlighted the Congo’s recent measures to create an attractive environment for future investments, including the upcoming submission of a new gas code to the Council of Ministers. The Republic of Congo has recently advanced several large-scale integrated gas projects, including Eni’s Marine XII permit development – targeting the production of 3 million tons of LNG by 2025 – and Wing Wah’s multi-phase Banga Kayo project set to produce 30 billion cubic meters of associated gas.

“Our goal is clear: not only to optimize the use of existing resources, but also to develop local infrastructures and skills that will create a solid and sustainable value chain,” stated Minister Itoua. “We are actively seeking to collaborate with international partners who share our vision of natural resource exploitation that is both fair and sustainable.”

Gabon’s Minister of Petroleum and OPEC 2024 President Marcel Abéké addressed efforts to expand the country’s low-carbon energy supply, as well as valorize associated gas resources. Gabon recently instituted the Global Gas Flaring Reduction initiative to reduce greenhouse gases and is in the process of establishing an incentive tax framework for the development of gas projects, as well as certified its gas reserves and launched a national gas master plan.

“Gabon has entered into a process of energy transition by directing its sectoral policy towards the encouragement of low-cost investment projects,” said Minister Abéké. “This progressive approach… aims to reverse the national energy mix in favor of renewable energies.”

Underscoring Africa’s long-term growth prospects and key drivers of oil demand, OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al-Ghais affirmed OPEC’s commitment to driving Africa’s oil industry forward and fostering dialogue with international partners. By 2045, the continent’s oil demand is expected to double to 8.2 million barrels per day on the back of rising demand from residential, commercial and agricultural sectors, while refining capacity is set to expand by 3.2 million barrels per day.

“OPEC is here today in Paris in full force because we are an integral part of Africa, and Africa is an integral part of OPEC,” said Secretary General Al-Ghais. “The continent offers a vast horizon of undeveloped oil resources, which will be needed to meet future world energy needs. All sources of energy are going to be called upon to meet growing global primary energy demand, which is said to increase by 23% by 2045. Oil is still expected to represent the largest share of the energy mix through 2045, when we see long-term global oil demand rising to 116 million barrels per day.”

NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber highlighted that investment in Africa’s energy sector is crucial now more than ever. “This is the time for real partnership… We have to continue to demand a just energy transition for Africa – we have to produce every drop of hydrocarbons in order to transition into clean energies.”

Jude Brice Ondonda, Upstream Petroleum Director of Congolese national oil company, Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo stated that inn the Congo, SNPC is ready to lead a sustainable energy transformation, while tapping its resources and protecting its environment. “We would like to move towards a clean energy mix… and there is opportunity for investment in this area.”